I have suffered various indignities from living in an apartment complex for nearly seven years: paint falling from the upstairs balcony and the clean up that didn’t happen, kitchen flooded by plumber in the downstairs apartment, an extended water repair and drunk kids ripping off the car radio antenna. A new item can be added to that list.
The apartment complex became pet friendly this year, allowing residents to have cats or small dogs. After growing up with a depressed mother who decided to become a cat lady—my family had 91 cats in a three-bedroom house in the early 1990’s—I never wanted to be around small furry animals again. That’s why I’m a fish person. My nine-inch-long green terror cichlid fish has never given me or anyone else any problems. I wasn’t thrilled to find out about—and didn’t pay—the $1,000 USD pet deposit for having a 25-gallon fish tank.
The hallway outside my apartment stank like a cat litter box that went bad in a hurry. I assumed that it was one of the apartments and complained to the leasing office. The maintenance guy propped open the fire door at the end of the hallway, ignoring the posted fire department notice not to do that. The smell didn’t disappear after a few days. I noticed that my rustic welcome mat had an unusual stain on the top, flipped it over to find a bigger stain, and a matching stain on the hallway carpet.
I have found the source of the smell—and I was pissed.
This was the closest I ever came to having an OCD attack. That some animal—cat, dog, drunk neighbor, all of the above—had fouled my welcome mat with an unwelcome visit drove me up the wall. The next morning I took pictures with my iPad 2, showed them to the leasing agent at the office, and the maintenance guy was sent out with industrial rug cleaner to scrub down the hallway carpet from fire door to fire door. The overwhelming stench is gone but I can still detect a lingering residue.
I’m leaving the front doorstep bare for now. While I have an identical rustic welcome mat for the balcony doorstep that I could move to the front doorstep, I’m going to keep it there for now. I’m moving out of the apartment complex at the end of summer. I don’t need any further indignities from marauding cats, dogs and/or drunk neighbors.